Returning home in the gloaming this evening I experienced a sudden deflation of my offside front tyre. I managed to creep around the corner onto the verge in Ham Road and, there being no cell phone signal, had no option but to set about changing the wheel in a vulnerable spot and in pitch darkness.
Many vehicles squeezed through the gap alongside, forcing me to step aside; their occupants peering at me in curiosity, annoyance, or just plain pity, but all passed by ‘on the other side’. UNTIL – a car stopped, turned around and parked so as to guard my rear and illuminate my work space. From the vehicle emerged a gentleman asking if he could help in any way. Having parked with my nearside wheels on a grass bank, I was concerned that the car could slip sideways off the jack, so, more in hope than in expectation, I said that a large block of wood for safety might be helpful. He nodded sagely and strolled off, reappearing three minutes later carrying a foot cube of wood! He then stood by until I had safely completed the job.
It emerged that I had been in the illustrious company of the 86 year-old Revd Canon Stephen Trapnell, who lives opposite the church. It was inspirational to meet someone of such advanced years still practicing what he had been preaching for a lifetime.
You may see him on the airfield sometime and if you do, please charge his flight to my account.
Merry Christmas all!